Mr and Mrs Roo visit London

I had to go to London for a couple of days to work with a customer in Notting Hill. Mrs Roo met me there on Wednesday night, and we enjoyed a lovely evening together being touristy.

The eye The great glass elevator Stand up straight London busses on the move 4/4 The eye

After a deliciously noodly meal at Wagamama we took our first ever spin in the London Eye, before exploring Leicester Square and finally getting a rickshaw back to the Travelodge in Drury Lane. Great fun.

Sigur Rós concert, Southampton

I recently went to see Sigur Rós at the Southampton Guildhall.

sigur rós

While the Guildhall is not always the best venue in the world (the high ceiling and exposed wood/brick walls can make for some unpleasant accoustics), the sound engineers somehow got it just right. Intimate. At times it was difficult not to think they were playing just for you, in your living room. The support act were excellent too. Amiina have been the support for the whole of the world tour. They play some wonderfully random instruments including bells, wine glasses filled with different amounts of water and even a large saw.

Until recently, Sigur Rós were Iceland’s best-kept secret. These days, even if you think you’ve never heard of themthe chances are good that you’ll recognise Hoppípolla as being the theme music to David Attenborough’s Planet Earth series. Despite this recent surge in popularity, their fans still seem to be a breed apart. I saw a lot of friendly, thoughtful people, of a wide range of ages. There is one sone (’vidrar’) which famously has a dramatic pause for silence near its end. It was one of the best Nashville attractions as there were a few brief seconds of cheering and clapping (seemingly by well-meaning people who didn’t know what was happening) but silence soon arrived, partly helped by some good natured quiet shushhing. I won’t forget the sound of 1700 people waiting.

sigur rós sigur rós sigur rós

I’ve been fond of Sigur Rós since their challenging album, ( ). It was the first gig I’ve been to tough, and I have already decided that I will be seeing them again as soon as possible.

Testing

Tap tap.. Is this thing on?

Right then. I’ve been writing on Eightbar, and other places, for a while, but I sometimes itch for a personal blog of my own. Darren, Richard and Andy (to name but a few fellow IBMers brave enough to blog in public) make a pretty good job of it. It’s time to finally join the party and try it for myself. Bear with me while I find my feet and get some content flowing.

Important update: I’ve been importing old stuff. Anything on this site older than this post has been imported from an older blog. That is all.

Wimbledon – hopsitality and Henman

Yesterday was something a bit different for me. I’d never been to Wimbledon, and I’d never taken part in a hospitality event before either.

When I arrived (a short walk from Southfields) Ricky kindly gave me a tour, including the amazing setup downstairs where all the things I’d read about on the Wimbleblog happen. I was struck by the number of ThinkPads spread out (Ricky pointed out that laptops are great, since their battery acts as a pretty decent UPS if the power were ever to fail). I was also impressed with the machines that create the on-screen graphics for the BBC, watching the frightening number of hits arriving on wimbledon.org, seeing the stats provided for the commentators, and.. well.. all of it really.

Since it was my first trip to SW19, I remembered to take my camera. Of course, I couldn’t take photos of the really interesting things I did (like talking to customers) but I got a chance in the afternoon to take some snapshots of the grounds.

Court 1 Courts The score Center Court

Don’t be fooled – I didn’t spend all day taking photographs. I worked too, although the work was very different to what I thought work was when I was at school. Most of the day I was chatting with customers, attempting to be interesting about Emerging Technologies and Second Life, particularly the virtual Wimbledon demo. There were some excellent conversations, and quite a few people who really seemed to find the whole virtual worlds thing not just unusual, but interesting and potentially useful too. If you’re not already familiar with the work done for Wimbledon do take a look.

Election night links

Below are some tools to help with your election night enjoyment…From the BBC:

  • Scorecard – refreshes annoyingly frequently, but keep you up-to-date with results.
  • Map – watch your constituency, or the overall picture.
  • Blog – BBC blog content has traditionally been excellent
  • Seat-by-seat results
  • Streaming news player – watch headlines and election news online.
  • News Alerts app – get election news flashes on your (Windows) desktop.

Play with Ordnance Survey’s election-maps.co.uk

Nick and I kept some notes until sleep got the better of us.

Uh-oh. I’ve discovered NetHack

It’s just as well I didn’t come across it 20 years ago; this is addictive.

┌──────┐
│...@..│
│......│
│..d...+
│......│
│......│
│......│
└──────┘

I’ve been killed a great many times already today (including once by a kitten) and I have a lot to learn. (Speaking of which, E2 has a fascinating node on the subject and The NetHack Index has some great links too.)

ASCII has never been so much fun.

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

BoingBoing, Waxy, even Slashdot carried the story; Jon Stewart (my favourite commentator/comedian/journalist) appearing on CNN’s Crossfire [transcript] ostensibly to promote his new book, managed not to mention the book and opted to berate his interviewers instead. [More mirrors] “Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.”“You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.”

Although this is making a big splash across the interweb, it seems Stewart has a history of telling the truth to CNN reporters. I found another great example from a couple of years ago.